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Designer Claims Alexander McQueen and Sarah Burton Stole Her Designs for the Royal Gown

The Wedding of Prince William with Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey

Photo: Getty Images

Cries of plagiarism have long echoed in the aisles of fast fashion outlets like Zara and H&M, but if Céline, Prada, Dior, Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang haven’t filed a major class action lawsuit yet, far be it from us to concern ourselves with the matter. That said, when one of the most memorable wedding gowns in recent history gets called into question, our eyebrows definitely rise.

WWD reports that, for the second time in four years, bridal designer Christine Kendall is taking up arms against Alexander McQueen creative director Sarah Burton. Kendall claims that her sketches inspired the Dutchess of Cambridge’s 2011 wedding gown, for which Burton was awarded an OBE, or The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire honor, for services to the fashion industry.

According to the Hertfordsdshire-based bridal designer, Kendall presented the Duchess of Cambridge with her sketches prior to the Royal Wedding, after which her designs were “unfairly taken and copied” by Burton. Kendall was sure to communicate that her current lawsuit in no way implicates Kate: “This claim is not against the duchess and there is no allegation of wrongdoing against the palace,” a solicitor for the designer told the International Business Times.

A spokesperson for the royal family says Middleton saw no such sketches. The house of McQueen also vehemently refutes these “nonsense” legal claims: “Sarah Burton never saw any of Ms. Kendall’s designs or sketches and did not know of Ms. Kendall before Ms. Kendall got in touch with us — some 13 months after the wedding. We do not know why Ms. Kendall has raised this again, but there are no ifs, buts or maybes here: This claim is ridiculous,” said a McQueen spokesperson.

In a YouTube video, Kendall describes the similarity between her gown and the McQueen masterpiece. While there is an ever-so-slight resemblance, it’s nothing damning (or so flagrant as what happens in mass-produced, ripped-off-the-runway looks season after season). For her part, Kate seems to have total trust in her bridal designer and regularly dons McQueen on special occasions.

We’ll leave it to the judges to decide.

[ via Fashionista ]